On a Knife's Edge

The Ukraine, November 1942–March 1943

On a Knife's Edge cover

On a Knife's Edge

The Ukraine, November 1942–March 1943

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From critically acclaimed Eastern Front expert Prit Buttar, this is the engrossing story of the often-overlooked German counteroffensive post-Stalingrad, and how it prevented the whole Axis front line from collapsing.

The battle of Stalingrad was the turning point of World War II. The German capture of the city, their encirclement by Soviet forces shortly afterwards, and the hard-fought but futile attempts to relieve them, saw bitter attritional fighting and extremes of human misery inflicted on both sides.

The war was not over. The surrender of General Friedrich von Paulus's army left Germany's eastern armies severely weakened, but the Red Army had suffered enormous losses as it overreached itself in trying to exploit its great victory. Germany would continue the fight, and the battles that took place in the winter of 1942/43 would show the tactical and operational skill of Erich von Manstein and the Wehrmacht as they attempted to avert total disaster.

Drawing on first-hand accounts, On a Knife's Edge is a story of brilliant generalship, lost opportunities and survival in the harshest theatre of war.

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Dramatis Personae

Chapter 1: The Road to Crisis
Chapter 2: The Hammer Falls: Uranus
Chapter 3: A Paper-Thin Line
Chapter 4: December: Winter Storm
Chapter 5: December: Little Saturn
Chapter 6: Now or Never
Chapter 7: A Desperate Christmas
Chapter 8: The Ostrogoszhsk-Rossosh Operation
Chapter 9: The Struggle for Balance
Chapter 10: February: Retreat from the Don
Chapter 11: February: A War of Movement
Chapter 12: February: The Swing of the Pendulum
Chapter 13: Kharkov
Chapter 14: Pause for Breath

About the Author

Product details

Published 31 Oct 2019
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 464
ISBN 9781472835000
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 24pp plate section b&w
Dimensions 234 x 153 mm
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Prit Buttar

Prit Buttar studied medicine at Oxford and London…


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